Dru Temple was a force for Thomas Worthington’s women’s volleyball team for three seasons. But it’s the hard work she put in in the classroom that helps make her a success on the pitch.
The senior setter, who had 1,931 career assists in a 27-29, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 18-16 win over Worthington Kilbourne on September 28, dreams of a career in engineering .
“The rigorous classes I’m in, you have to start thinking for yourself and (working) on problem solving to get around a problem you have,” Temple said. “It definitely works in athletics because you have to be able to solve problems on and off the field. It’s the other way around, school sports help and school sports help.
Ohio Northern’s engineering department is the reason she chose to play for the Division III Polar Bears next season.
“School is a huge part for me,” said Temple, who has a weighted GPA of 4.2. “A big part of choosing this school and being able to play volleyball there is because they have a great engineering department. Academics come first for me.
“At the moment, I have civil engineering, but I could switch to mechanical engineering. I am between two desires to help design cities with the architectural aspect. My other idea is to go into aerospace engineering with airplanes and air traffic or space. It’s all in the air.
Temple got into engineering through Thomas’ STEM program.
“I took engineering classes from my freshman year until my senior year now,” she said. “They do a great job of getting you into everything. My first year was mostly about construction and practical engineering and my first year was more about civil engineering and architecture, learning about the structure of houses and how to build them.
Temple, who takes AP biology “for fun” this year, had 425 assists and 25 aces in 18 games to lead the Cardinals, who were 5-14 overall and 1-7 in the OCC-Division. Cardinal after losing to Marysville 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 25-14 on October 6. She also had 161 digs and 17 blocks.
Thomas picked up his first win over Kilbourne since October 13, 2011, ending a 14-game losing streak.
“It was a tough fight, so winning (it was) so much better,” Temple said. “Winning an easy game is not the same feeling as fighting so hard. It lifts the morale of the team so much and I hope we can finish the season (strong).”
Second-year coach Ellen Hawkins sees Temple as a complete player and leader.
“She’s pretty quick and nimble,” said Hawkins, who played Thomas before moving on to Baldwin Wallace. “She likes to get her hands on everything. She is definitely trying to find the person who will produce for the team. His volleyball IQ is very high. She could definitely be a coach one day; she definitely has that personality. She’s just a huge leader on and off the pitch. She holds people to a very high standard and she holds herself to a high standard as well. I think she’s going to do very well at the next level.
Another strength is having a hitter like Becca Wight, a Virginia commit who had a team-best 191 takeouts and 33 blocks in 18 games.
Katie Fourman had 97 kills, Emma Lynch had 62 and Avery Argy had 51. Avery Hughes led Thomas with 180 digs and Argy had 34 blocks to lead the defense.
“We didn’t have a lot of confidence (before beating Kilbourne),” Hawkins said. “We lost to Grove City (25-22, 25-18, 25-23 on August 25) and it was a revelation. I told the girls that winning games was going to take effort (because) everyone is really good this year. I feel like every team (that we’ve faced) has improved so much and we need to keep improving as well.